How Innovations in Genomics and Biotech Can Help Us With The COVID-19 Crisis

How Innovations in Genomics and Biotech Can Help Us With The COVID-19 Crisis
By: Simon Barnett
How Innovations in Genomics and Biotech Can Help Us With The COVID-19 Crisis

How Innovations in Genomics and Biotech Can Help Us With The COVID-19 Crisis

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As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to strengthen its grip across the globe, it’s natural to feel a sense of dread and despair. However, we believe that tumultuous times can be the best catalysts for innovation, and this pandemic is no exception. In this episode, Simon Barnett and Ali Urman, ARK’s genomics analysts, are here to discuss developments in genomics and biotech, underway in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Simon sheds light on the declining cost curve of DNA sequencing, which allowed scientists to sequence the virus in a handful of days—a stark contrast to the six months it took to sequence the SARS virus. We also discuss improvements in diagnostic tools like synthetic biology in the context of this pandemic. Ali zooms further in on some preventative medicine and vaccine developments. While traditional vaccines use the virus itself, companies like Moderna, Inovio, and Arcturus Therapeutics, among others, are working on a range of unconventional and potentially groundbreaking preventative measures. We also look at how existing anti-viral drugs are being repurposed for the treatment of COVID-19.

Lastly, we take a look at auxiliary areas where we have seen an increase of innovations. Simon highlights how telemedicine, organ transplant, and blood safety measures have seen growth during the crisis. Many of the developments are breaking down FDA barriers. We hope that these developments galvanize innovative approaches to prevention, diagnoses, and treatments not only for COVID-19 but for other diseases as well. Be sure to tune in today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The genomic and biotech companies who are doing innovative work.
  • How the DNA sequencing timeframe for SARS and MERS compares with COVID-19.
  • A look at other developments in DNA sequencing in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Insights into some of the diagnostic tool developments such as synthetic biology.
  • Find out about Moderna’s alternative development to the viral vaccine for COVID-19.
  • Self-replicating RNA vaccine: How it works and who’s leading the development charge.
  • Inovio’s DNA vaccine, how it works, and some the of benefits.
  • How existing anti-viral therapies are being repurposed for the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Innovation is helping break down FDA barriers.
  • The take-off of telemedicine.
  • How the face of transplant care is changing in light of COVID-19.
  • What usually happens with blood supply during an outbreak and the current innovations.
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